Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Dec 31, 2018
    Lesson of purpose and purity of game design. All the technical and game principles are subject to great narrative and an experience you will not forget. [Issue#291]
  2. 100
    By hewing close to genre origins, both visually and thematically (though not without some genuine innovations of his own), Lucas Pope has delivered one of the best games of the year, and certainly one of the best murder mystery games of all time.
  3. Dec 5, 2018
    The only downside to Return of the Obra Dinn is that I foresee someone attempting to copy this game’s formula, and it will fail. There is not a single piece of this game that can’t be deduced from the information the game presents. I feel copycats will understand the general concept but not succeed in tying up every loose end like Pope did here. All four years of development are on display. Return of the Obra Dinn is a unique experience worth every penny. I can’t recommend this game enough. There is nothing quite like it.
  4. Oct 30, 2018
    Return of the Obra Dinn is a genuine and amazing adventure mystery game with an incredible narrative and surprising art style. Is one of the most clever and extraordinary games of the last years.
  5. Oct 18, 2018
    This is a game I can not stop thinking about. I think about it at work -- either remembering crazy moments I didn't see coming, or reflecting on recently discovered information and its implications. This is absolutely a "thinking man's game," and it's one that I hope other developers (or Mr. Pope himself) decide to ape and expand on. Despite the fact that this isn't a detective game, I've never felt more like a dick.
  6. Nov 19, 2018
    A unique game that creates new things using old mechanics. An example that proves to us that there's still room for new innovations in videogames.
  7. Oct 26, 2018
    Unapologetically old-school, the captivating tragedies of the Obra Dinn are in a class of their own. Visually striking and extraordinarily immersive, a must-play for any mystery fan worth their salt.
  8. Oct 26, 2018
    Lucas Pope's Return of the Obra Dinn is one of the best detective games on the market.
  9. Oct 25, 2018
    The creator of Papers Please offers us a modern classic again.Return of the Obra Dinn uses an original and personal narrative in a development that makes us feel like true detectives. Visually it is an exercise in retro love and good taste. Lucas Pope delivers us one of the games of the year.
  10. Oct 22, 2018
    Return of the Obra Dinn is one of the best detective games I’ve ever played, and now I want so much more of it.
  11. CD-Action
    Nov 14, 2019
    Lucas Pope is a genius and Return of the Obra Dinn is something truly exceptional. It’s a bit like sudoku – the only thing it needs from a player is logical thinking, therefore it can be recommended to anyone. [13/2018, p.50]
  12. Jan 4, 2019
    The Return of the Obra Dinn is a stunning work of craftsmanship. Pope, who handled every aspect of its production himself, has created a work that celebrates scrutinizing details.
  13. Nov 20, 2018
    With Return of the Obra Dinn, Lucas Pope once again aims for the heart: this post-mortem mystery demands quite a lot from the player, but delivers one of the most rewarding experiences of this year. Return of the Obra Dinn is not suited for everyone, but its wonderful disjointing storytelling will keep those who agree to its formula awake for long.
  14. Edge Magazine
    Nov 9, 2018
    With an eye and an ear for the theatrical, the wonderfully evocative staging turns you into a horrified, fascinated voyeur; you might be late for the Obra Dinn's fateful voyage, but you have a front-row seat to its frequently thrilling demise. [Christmas 2018, p.122]
  15. Nov 6, 2018
    A unique graphic style, an exotic theme, and a story that is well suited to being told through a unique game system make Return of the Obra Dinn a detective game unlike any other.
  16. 90
    Easily the best detective game of the modern era, with challenging and rewarding gameplay combined with some of the most evocative visuals of the year.
  17. Oct 28, 2018
    This game will test your detective skills to the utmost. The art of deduction! Its style is something else and the story is very interesting, but the game will not make things easy for you.
  18. Oct 26, 2018
    An artistic manifesto of overflowing power.
  19. Oct 23, 2018
    If you had to choose just one detective game, it should be that one. Return of the Obra Dinn is incredibly smart, has an amazing atmosphere and tells its story with great intelligence. A true masterpiece.
  20. Oct 22, 2018
    Delivers a wonderfully evocative method of storytelling as you gain glimpses into the lives of each person on board at vital moments along the Obra Dinn's journey and piece together who they were, what they had to deal, what motivated them, and how they responded when tragedy struck. You may only see them in scratchy monochrome stills and hear them in brief snatches of urgent conversation, if at all, but if you're paying attention then you should feel like you know (almost) every one of these sixty people intimately by the end of the game.
  21. Oct 22, 2018
    Return of the Obra Dinn has emerged after four years in development, and it was truly worth the wait. Pope takes us on a magical journey that may seem plain at first glance, but there’s plenty of excitement and beauty to be found here - if you’re willing to dig a bit deeper.
  22. Oct 19, 2018
    A beautifully constructed and powerfully atmospheric mystery that you really have to work to solve.
  23. Oct 19, 2018
    A unique art style and a fantastic puzzle hook make Return of the Obra Dinn a detective story worth experiencing, especially if you can do it all in one go.
  24. Dec 13, 2018
    Return of the Obra Dinn is simply gorgeous, from the idea to the execution. Finally a gem in which your deductive skills, your logic and your patience are really important: this game doesn't help the player. With an amazing graphic art and a strong gameplay, another great game from Lucas Pope.
  25. Oct 18, 2018
    Return Of Obra Dinn is a surprisingly hardcore detective title with a surreal bite, and one that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who loves a great challenge.
  26. Dec 10, 2018
    Although a weak ending and a frustrating lack of tutorials up front limit Pope's latest release, the vast majority of his work more than makes up for these setbacks. Whether you're looking for something truly unique, thick vibes, or an excellent mystery, Obra Dinn is for you.
  27. Jan 15, 2019
    Sound design, music, and an inspired graphical style makes Return of the Obra Dinn an unsettling but satisfying exercise in deduction.
  28. Oct 26, 2018
    This is a very interesting detective game, some sort of single player Cluedo, absorbing and fun. If you like solving murders and unique games, you cannot miss this one.
  29. Nov 5, 2018
    An enthralling, tragic and surprising seafaring fairytale - a complex but always logical adventure for passionate detectives.
  30. Nov 9, 2018
    This whodunnit adventure has its flaws, but in its best moments this is an intense, clever constructed as well as challenging experience.
  31. Nov 9, 2018
    An intellectual and aesthetic delight, Return of the Obra Dinn is a morbidly fascinating logic puzzle disguised as a minimalist nautical adventure.
  32. Oct 30, 2018
    Return of the Obra Dinn is a bleak ditty but offers solid meat for puzzle fans to get their teeth into, with a similar love of paperwork and information cataloging that won fans for Pope’s previous title, Papers Please.
  33. Oct 30, 2018
    A wonderful work built with good taste and an intriguing – although simple – plot. A very responsive and functional menu helps during the difficult investigation, the graphic shows inventiveness. Sounds and Voice actors are overall great.
  34. Nov 13, 2018
    It's easy to respect something like Return of the Obra Dinn. Puzzling together clues from each death scene is tricky and rewarding, but the motivation for doing so is lacking. There's no one to care about on the ship, no reason to uncover the mystery other than to prove you've done it, and it holds the game back from being exceptional.
  35. Dec 2, 2018
    There is no thrilling story, colorful characters or allure of the high seas. Instead, Return of the Obra Dinn is a bold, massive puzzle, an exquisite workout for your 'gray cells'. Unfortunately, the innovative gameplay mechanic gradually loses its appeal and excitement towards the finale, and I had to muster my willpower in order to beat the game in one go.
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  1. Oct 18, 2018
    The Papers, Please creator offers up an intricate and mesmerising puzzle game with a rich and detailed sense of place. [Eurogamer Essential]
  2. Oct 18, 2019
    The experience was as captivating and memorable as I’d hoped. I was glued to it until I was done. My only wish is that I could erase my brain and play it again.
  3. Oct 21, 2018
    Return of the Obra Dinn takes the whodunit’s conventions and twists them into kaleidoscopic narratives that are perplexing and delightful. This isn’t merely a great game, it’s the work of an intense and creative intelligence.
  4. I’m staggered by how clever it is. [RPS Bestest Bests]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 330 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 330
  1. Nov 7, 2018
    can't change the controls... unacceptable... can't play with the default ones.
    thank god for refunds
  2. Oct 20, 2018
    You may think the art style is artistic, but the truth is, the art style is bad. You won't see much and get lost in a plain sight.
    The game
    You may think the art style is artistic, but the truth is, the art style is bad. You won't see much and get lost in a plain sight.
    The game is good, the story, the puzzles everything is worth playing. However, this game cost too much. It should cost 5$ instead. It really hurts because my expectations were high (after paper please) and this game is only good. I can't give it more than 7 because it lacks something. I feel like I have paid too much for experience lacking something essential.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2018
    I cant recommend it to anyone. Unless you like bad games, then feel free to buy it.